Note from the Editor

Katrina, a natural disaster caused by American negligence; Iraq, a human disaster caused by American connivance; both were predictable, preventable, avoidable, but we as a society chose otherwise in the name of indifference, vengeance, fear, and greed. We are left to clean up the mess in the South but we can mitigate the Iraqi disaster by getting out of Iraq now, in an orderly and short timetable. This is what the September 24-26 March and Rally in Washington is about. Go join Cindy Sheehan to tell the Bush administration to end the war in Iraq. Will Katrina be the wake-up call that changes the direction of America away from profits and toward people's needs (food, housing, health care, education, good jobs), after billions of dollars and countless liberties squandered in the name of homeland security left us even less secure? Isn't it time to really define the notion of "security"? The house of cards on which America rests may well be on the verge of implosion, posits Milo Clark. Our efforts are no more successful in Iraq, where the most powerful military on earth cannot stop the Iraqi resistance, including suicide strikers, and every act of American brutality is met with more violence. Gerard Donnelly Smith offers a very personal insight on dealing with this profoundly difficult situation. When one looks at America's score card in its War on Terror, as Philip Greenspan does, one can only conclude that we are all losing.

The abject poverty of the Great Depression inspired the radicalization of a generation, with the likes of working class leader Sylvia Weinstein, whose collection of essays, Fightback, is reviewed by Louis Proyect. These essays, stemming from her direct experience in a class-divided society, are particularly relevant today, when radicalization is needed more than ever. This same era produced a generation of Jewish comedians that was the subject of The Haunted Smile, reviewed by Charles Marowitz.

George Beres shares the results of an Oregon Pacifica Forum program that discussed the justification for impeachment of George W. Bush, and Robert Wrubel presents Mr. Bush through the eyes of a drunken press that continues to gloss over his impeachable offenses. Finally, our editor's blips on a society in disrepair, with its disappearing local communities -- from Kepler's landmark bookstore to our local farm supply store -- that begs time and again the questions: When shall we put people first? How long shall we have to wait, and how much more destruction shall we have to endure before people come to their senses? Your appreciated and entertaining letters end this issue.

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  The Katrina Anomaly

How far are we lulled into self-induced torpor? Can we yet break loose? One observation possible is that many systems have gone exponential. Can or will the accumulations of exponentialities assume critical mass? If so, what would result?   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Insurgent Word: Suicide

One can either live the myth of Sisyphus, finding hope to continue struggling with one's suffering, or one decides to open the veins, blow out the brains, or stick the head in the oven, so said Camus as the possible answer to life's most important question.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  The Declining Sole Superpower

As the sole superpower sinks slowly into its Iraqi quagmire it may be time for a review and an assessment of accomplishments -- are there any? -- against anticipated objectives.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Louis Proyect:  Sylvia Weinstein's Fightback

Last April, when Barry Sheppard spoke at a Brecht Forum book event on behalf of his memoir about life in the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) titled The Party, he made a telling observation. In his opinion, if there is a new revolutionary party, it will by necessity be a lot different from the party he joined in the 1950s.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Lawrence Epstein's The Haunted Smile

It has been said that if you were a Christian, a Buddhist, a Freudian, or a Marxist, you would be able to interpret world history from your own ideological standpoint and make a pat explanation for all the phenomena in the world. Depending on your dogma, you would come up with a perfectly consistent interpretation of events that would confirm your particular weltanschauung.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

George Beres:  Impeachment Oregon Style

Two of Oregon's most prominent citizens, Jim Weaver and Frank Stahl, drew parallels between Richard Nixon and George Bush when they discussed impeachment at a public program in Eugene in June 2005. Weaver served in the US Congress for three terms (1975-87). Stahl has been the most eminent scientific figure at the University of Oregon, where his work places him on the cutting edge of cancer research.   More...


Humor With a Poetic Zest

Robert Wrubel:  James Joyce Attends The President's News Conference

Fellow Umericans, onerous mumbers of Congrets,
Tonight we face devisive moment in nation's mystery.
Since Nein Erleben, we ur aggrieved in mighty battle with farces of good and heaval,
Ever rending war on error, tamperrurally being fraught in Iroiq.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #25

"Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not quality."
—George Santayana

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk regarding disappearing communities, from the landmark bookstore, Kepler's, to local family businesses, in a country in disrepair.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Your thoughts on terrorism and security, Bush and Blair, name-callers and sqealers, and by the way, what happened to the Greens?   More...



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Created: September 14, 2005